Most people are interested in work and live in Canada. Sometimes, that’s our dream but we really don’t know what to expect, how’s the day-to-day activities and of course, how can we integrate ourselves. I can’t talk for every immigrant living in Canada, but I’d like to say that I am very happy with my experience. If you don’t know this is my second job in Canada and of course I do remember what happened to me during my first day at work in both companies.
I was living in Toronto (still live) and I found a job in Mississauga. Mississauga is part of GTA (Grand Toronto Area). It is a city close to Toronto. I’d say 25-30 minutes by car. We have access to Mississauga using public transportation as well. On my first day at work, I woke up early (I’d say I did not sleep at all), took the bus and then, got at the company around 7:45. Usually, you work in Canadian companies from 9-5. As you could see, more than 1 hour before. It was great, I could relax and think about things that I should say. At 8:45 I went to the office and announced myself to the receptionist that I’d like to talk with Mr. Scott. Scott is his real name. Scott was a very nice guy and even during my interview helped me with some resume mistakes. See how lucky I was? This was not supposed to happens. Some IT terms that I was using were not correct and he asked me if he could make some changes to my resume.
Anyway, the company has 2 floors and while I was at the reception, I could see people coming back and forth and passing by me saying good morning. After 10 minutes, Tommy come by and introduced himself to me. Scott was sick and couldn’t come to work on that day. So, everything that I was planning to say to Scott didn’t work at all. I was greeted by someone else and it was a shock! However, Tommy was also a great person, asked me to go with him to see more about the company, showed me the washrooms, cafeteria and my curb.
We went to a room where I’ve got my ID Card. So, I’ve got my ID and now it is time to see your coworkers. He introduced me to the department and then, as my name is not common in Canada, they started asking me questions on how to pronounce correctly. I tried and tried, but at the end, they’re pronouncing my name like they usually speak – with accent and of course wrong. This could happens to you, too! Remember when you are having an English class? Like pronunciation class? How your teacher spells every single word and you think to yourself: this is not important, as I am not going to use this. My friend, you are completely wrong. This is something that you will say a lot, and of course, spell a lot. So, don’t do what I did and practice.
After that, I went to my curb and Tommy was showing me how to access the internet, the programs that I’d like to use and so on. At the lunch time, he invited me to go out and have lunch with everybody. It was great, we could talk more and you’re the center of the conversation. Be friendly and smile. It is always great when you smile for them. Sometimes I was not even understanding the conversation, but as everybody was laughing, so I was
Even to answer the phone was a problem. Not that I did not know how to answer the phone, but I was nervous in answering questions that possibly I did not know the answer. Took me 3-4 days to create my voice mail. I tried, tried, tried and every time that I saved the message, when I was listening, I was not happy. Things like this, we think that it is simple, but if you’re not comfortable with your English skills, makes a lot of difference.
Finally the first day was gone and I was able to go home. But go home at 5pm? Or stay until 6pm? (In Brazil, we usually work from 8-6). See, another thing that we need to understand, too. As it was summer, people in Canada usually enjoy a lot. Now I understand why – it is too short! After the first weeks of work, I felt more confortable but even with all the help I was receiving, I’d say that only within one month at the company I could enjoy more and really part of a team.